This is a bumper issue. October is a hectic month for the industry, not just in Asia but around the world too. There is just too much happening and insurance is involved in every sector of the economy. And then there is the rising October renewals on the FAC front. There is also pressure to get the annual renewals done early with better data and deeper analytics.
Just this October, as official media, we will be covering several major events: FAIR in Bahrain, Indonesia Rendezvous in Bali, APIC in Singapore, as well as 14th SIRC which starts on 31 October. November is no less busy with SIRC continuing back-to-back with IAIS in Kuala Lumpur, and the life’s PIC in Hong Kong back-to-back with our Asia Marine Conference, and lastly our Investment Management Summit to help you get an auspicious start to 2018 which, in Cantonese, puns with Sure to Prosper.
October is also special because 18 October is EAIC Insurance Day. I hope by now everyone in the East Asian market is aware of this auspicious date and planning at the company and industry level to do something to mark this day. Insurance, though so essential to everything we do, is still not as appreciated. Most are still not aware of what insurance can do for them. The insurance gap threw up by the media frenzy in the build up to Harvey and Irma which wreaked close to US$150 billion in damages and less than $100 billion in insured losses. Good for the industry? Or bad? The answer is not blatantly obvious though we all heaved a collective sigh of relief.
Monte Carlo came and went with no clear answers though it was such an exciting week with Irma as the hottest chat-topic ever. There were many different takes on whether the market will fundamentally change. The signs are for greater awareness at least within the industry that they cannot just underwrite in hope of a benign Mother Nature, climate change notwithstanding. Then there were fears that cyber might be a bottomless pit as actual risk exposures in cyber were not easily fathomable. The Monte Carlo Rendezvous statistics show that reinsurance’s share of global insurance business was stagnant at just 5% or $230 billion. And that the business was shrinking largely because of deteriorating rates and expansive covers. There were also leaders already questioning if reinsurance could indeed be a growth industry. But capital market boys are still gung-ho about the returns in reinsurance.
A thought-provoking forum I attended in Australia with a no-holds barred discussion highlighted the need for policy leadership in a world led by politics and survival instincts of politicians. Can insurance rise beyond this threat?
In this bumper issue, we look at some cutting edge issues too to keep up with the market fervour in addition to InsurTech and disruptive innovation. We have a whole array of choices from environmental insurance, Belt & Road Initiative, modelling man-made risks, robotics in eldercare; using genetic information in life cover; and getting the millennials on board early.
On the traditional front, we bring you the growth buzzword in Indonesia as well as engaging consumers, building trust and making personal lines ubiquitous. The Cover Story is on marine cargo with dreams of a hard ground by next year.
Soon on 1 November, we will celebrate the winners of the 21st Asia Awards on whose shoulders the burden to boost insurance further will fall. I congratulate all the 15 winners!
Vive la insurance!
Asia Insurance Review